SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the National Park Service welcomed 176 new citizens during a special naturalization ceremony Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site in celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. Magistrate Judge Katherine A. Robertson presided and the clerk of the court administered the Oath of Allegiance. Springfield Technical Community College Zahi Haddad delivered congratulatory remarks.
Welcoming remarks were offered by Springfield Armory National Historic Site Superintendent Kelly Fellner, Springfield Technical Community College President John B. Cook, and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
The 176 citizenship candidates came from the following 55 countries: Afghanistan, Belarus, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Canada, China, Colombia, Congo (Kinshasa), Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, India, Iraq, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Syria, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
On Sept. 17, the nation observes Constitution Day and Citizenship Day as part of Constitution Week (Sept. 17 to 23). The commemoration honors both the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and an observance that began in 1940 as “I Am an American Day”. Citizenship Day began in 1952 based on a law signed by President Harry Truman, and in 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed the first Constitution Week.
Each year, USCIS celebrates Constitution Day and Citizenship Day – and Constitution Week – by celebrating the connection between the Constitution and citizenship, reflecting on what it means to be a citizen of the United States, and holding special naturalization ceremonies across the country. This ceremony is one of many that will take place as part of USCIS’ celebration of Constitution Week.
USCIS often participates in naturalization ceremonies at museums, schools, libraries and other notable locations to celebrate the conclusion of an immigrant’s journey to citizenship and honor the commitment they have shown along the way. Special venues not only make these events meaningful for those who have voluntarily chosen to participate in American democracy and dedicated themselves to the country’s future, but they also reflect the strength and spirit of the United States.
USCIS encourages new citizens and guests to share their naturalization ceremony experiences and photos through social media, using the hashtag #NewUSCitizen – and in honor of Citizenship Day and Constitution Week – #CitizenshipDay and #ConstitutionWeek. NPS encourages use of the hashtags #FindYourPark and #MyParkStory.